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After 396 arrests, Chicago woman ordered to get mental health, substance abuse treatment

A homeless Chicago woman who has been arrested 396 times in the past 35 years has been ordered by a judge to get mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Shermain Miles, 51, appeared in a Cook County court on Monday, accused of attacking a city alderman. She pleaded guilty to trespassing and public drinking in separate cases.

Judge Peggy Chiampas sentenced Miles to time served after she agreed to undergo a mental health evaluation and get follow-up treatment, The Chicago Sun-Times (http://bit.ly/13zt6Yl ) reported. Miles has been held at the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, 65 miles west of Champaign, since December for violating parole.

"All of us are reaching out to you and offering you, maybe for the first time in your life, a hand, OK?" Chiampas told Miles. "But you've got to reach out and grab all of our hands as well."

Miles, who has dozens of convictions for felonies and misdemeanors, thanked the judge for her help.

Miles has been arrested 65 times for disorderly conduct and has used at least 83 different aliases. She's well known among merchants and residents in several North Side neighborhoods, including one florist who called police about her 25 times last summer.

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Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://www.suntimes.com/index

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